Smith Rock has the Best Bathrooms

This morning we wrapped up the final destination of our road trip. We spent just over a week climbing in Smith Rock State Park, Oregon – time for some decent route sampling, but not long enough for any substantial projecting. We had some rough luck with weather, which ranged from sweltering hot, to rain and thunderstorms, to good temps accompanied by frigid winds. The conditions and timing led us to figure out very quickly that we needed to drop any expectations and just enjoy climbing whatever we could. Smith Rock is both a physically and mentally challenging place. The climbing is difficult and engaging, and the run-outs are serious… it is a place that puts all aspects of the climber to the test.

We made the most of our climbing despite the challenges we faced, and we did it with wonderful company and really above average bathrooms. We spent the week with Kirsten and Yannick, and by the weekend were joined by Dan and Nicole as well as Tristan and Mika. It was a great way to cap off the trip!

Several of the destinations we visited over the course of our road trip have limited toileting facilities. Maybe a single portapotty. Maybe “primitive” camping where cat-hole-digging is required. Maybe permanent outhouses that are so appalling you can’t go in them anyways. Smith Rock, on the other hand, has their toilet game on point. Here is a sampling of a few of the best ones…

Skull Hollow Outhouses

On this trip to Smith Rock we camped at Skull Hollow, which is a 10-15 minute drive from the park. At Skull Hollow the campsites are cheap and big and the outhouses (regular pit toilets) are the cleanest. Even on the weekend they are spic and span, fully stocked with tp, and somehow never stinky. It’s an outhouse miracle!

Bivy Camping Bathrooms

This heated structure is a treat to climbers – we greatly appreciated it on our previous trips to Smith. Flush toilets, running water and soap, showers…

Approach Trail Bathroom

This structure offers two options. (1) Good old fashioned composting toilet, and (2) Repurposed urine-diversion toilet. The urine-diversion toilet has a foot pedal that you pump to roll a conveyor belt which removes solid waste. Pretty neat!

River Trail Bathroom

These phoenix composting toilets are surrounded by incredible scenery provided by the Crooked River and the Smith Rock Group. What more could one ask for?

Other great bathrooms in Smith Rock include the flush toilets at the Day Use parking lot, and the single-stall private washrooms in Redpoint Climbers Supply. At Redpoint you can enjoy beer on tap, coffee, climbing equipment, free wifi, AND a great bathroom experience.


It was cool coming back to Smith Rock as stronger and more experienced climbers than we were last time around. With so much more available to us we were able to climb many neat routes, but as always, we also had to leave a lot behind for next trip. Here are a few of our highlights:

Shep making sure everyone is in order for the shot! Photo credit: Dan Beland
Dan on his send of the classic “Aggro Monkey” (5.13b)
Kirsten warming up on “Chicken McNuggets” (5.10b)
Kim climbing the full and runout “Heinous Cling” (5.12c R). Photo credit: Yannick Neufeld-Cumming
Yannick on his onsight attempt of “Darkness at Noon” (5.13a)
Graham setting up for the dyno on “The Burl Master” (5.13c). Photo credit: Nicole Gillette
Kim on her flash of “Up For Grabs” (5.11d). Photo credit: Kirsten Hundza
Nicole cranking the burly moves on “Heresy” (5.11c)
Dan on his quick send of “Oxygen” (5.13b)
The Skull Hollow campsite
Nicole, Kirsten and Graham – chillin’ in the Aggro Gully
Just a couple dudes
What’s a trip to Smith without this iconic shot??

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